Petrol was once again rationed in the UK, sales of large cars slumped, and the market for German bubble cars boomed.The Fiat 500, launched in 1957, was also hugely successful - especially in its native Italy.
This space-saving design also featured rising progressive-rate springing of the cones, and provided some natural damping, in addition to the normal dampers.
It also exposed the entire ignition system to the direct ingress of rainwater through the grille.
Early prototypes used the existing 948 cc A-Series unit but this provided the ADO15 with performance far greater than its price and purpose required – a top speed of over 90mph.
but departed from tradition by mounting it transversely, with the engine-oil-lubricated, four-speed transmission in the sump, and by employing front-wheel drive.
Almost all small front-wheel-drive cars developed since have used a similar configuration, except with the transmission usually separately enclosed rather than using the engine oil.